Leeds must make cheeky Jonny Howson bid once Middlesbrough sign George Saville

According to reports in The Mirror, Middlesbrough are ready to push through a loan move for Millwall midfielder George Saville that will lead to a permanent £7m deal during the January transfer window, and if they do Leeds United should make a cheeky late bid for former star Jonny Howson.

What’s the word, then?

Well, despite having a number of options in the centre of the park, Tony Pulis is keen to bolster the Championship leaders and according to The Mirror he appears to be closing in on a loan deal for the highly-rated Saville, which will become permanent when the transfer window re-opens in the New Year.

The arrival of the 25-year-old at the Riverside Stadium would strengthen a Boro side that are already looking strong at this early stage of the campaign, and he would be competing with the likes of Howson, another new boy Mo Besic and Adam Clayton for a spot in the starting XI.

Meanwhile, Leeds have also made an impressive start under Marcelo Bielsa, although perhaps they could still do with some extra competition in midfield – especially for the likes of Kalvin Phillips and Adam Forshaw in a more defensively-minded role.

Why should they sign Howson?

While Howson has been a regular in the Boro midfield so far this season, the arrival of Saville on Teesside may well bring his place in the XI into risk, and the 30-year-old may not be happy if he is forced to start on the substitutes’ bench on a regular basis.

The former Leeds star, who made more than 200 appearances for the Yorkshire outfit between 2006-2012 and was a real fans’ favourite, is tenacious, energetic and has all of the attributes needed to be a real success under Bielsa this term as the Whites finally look to reclaim their spot in the Premier League.

A loan bid would certainly be cheeky, but it is something that could work for both United and the player.